TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s freeze on migrant workers from Indonesia and the latter country’s plans to demand Taiwanese employers pay a range of fees will be on the agenda when the two governments hold a videoconference meeting Wednesday (Dec. 23).
Taiwan counts an estimated 265,000 Indonesian workers, but as the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases imported from the Southeast Asian country showed a significant rise over the past few months, Taiwan decided on Dec. 18 to impose an indefinite ban on new recruitment.
Indonesia reportedly hoped that the ban could be lifted if migrant workers were subjected to more reliable coronavirus testing at major locations in the capital Jakarta and in Surabaya.
Separately, the Indonesian government announced that from Jan. 1, 2021, Taiwanese employers of Indonesian workers should pay 11 types of fees before their departure for Taiwan, including brokerage fees, passport and visa fees, as well as airfare, CNA reported.
After the announcement, Taiwan said it might turn to other countries for the recruitment of migrant workers. The country’s representative office in Jakarta encouraged both sides to sit down and discuss the issue, reportedly resulting in the decision to conduct a videoconference.
According to the Agency for the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (Badan Pelindungan Pekerja Migran Indonesia, BP2MI), the talks with Taiwan will begin Wednesday at 10 a.m., CNA reported.